Out To Lunch

Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. and Fridays at 6:30 p.m.

When you tune in to Out to Lunch, you'll find economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant.

Each week Peter invites guests from the new world of the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc. magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the U.S. to be an entrepreneur, and Out to Lunch is at the forefront of the new New Orleans.

Out to Lunch is also available on the It's New Orleans website.

Major support for Out to Lunch comes from Jones Walker and IBERIABANK. Additional support comes from LUBA Workers' Comp.

Out To Lunch: Oil And Gusts
Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Everybody likes to think they’re important, but here in Louisiana we really are. Two sectors of our local economy are major components of the national, and global, economy: oil and gas, and renewable energy.

Outside of the oil companies who physically drill for oil, there is a huge industry of companies who do everything else – from building oil rigs to delivering groceries to the men and women who work on them. One of the biggest offshore support companies in the world is headquartered here in New Orleans. Tidewater.

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

In business, and other organizations, we hear about "mission drift." That's a condition where the organization loses track of what it set out to accomplish. The way to re-focus is to get back to basics.

That’s what we're doing today on Out to Lunch. We’re talking about three very basic elements - sunshine, water and dirt. And we’re looking at how we can harness these three elements to re-focus us on one of our missions as a city that we seem to have drifted away from –- resurrecting the 9th Ward.

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

The financial markets go up and down. The value of real estate goes up and down. The dollar strengthens and weakens. Financial advisors have a wide range of theories of risk versus diversification that they say can either make you a fortune, or hedge your bets. Through all this noise, there are investor voices who continue to say just two words. “Buy gold.” Is that good advice? Or is that just as risky as anything else?

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

  According to the reputable Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, right around twenty percent of the population of the United States is under 15. That’s a sizeable market. You don’t have to look very far to see the marketers of stuff that kids like trying to sell it to them. Mostly food and toys. Which demonstrates that we don’t change all that much as we grow older.

But there are other businesses aimed at kids that aren’t exploitative, and can be a part of a child’s development. Peter Ricchiuti's guests on today’s show are in those kinds of businesses.

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

  In 1814 it was the British who were "runnin' down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico." Today, ships of almost every nationality are steaming down the river to the Gulf. 54 of them belong to International Shipholding. Their fleet of cargo vessels ply international trade from their current headquarters in Mobile, Alabama but they're set to return soon to their original home in New Orleans.

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

The world of New Orleans education is changing. For elementary, middle, and high schools that change has been so radical that we’ve become global pioneers in charter education.

There’s another education transformation going on that you might be less familiar with. It’s a parallel universe. Of paradoxes. They’re educational entrepreneurial ventures -- that are nonprofit. Organizations that integrate into the education system -- but aren’t a part of it. Two of these intriguing new ventures are here in New Orleans.

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

  We've all seen this guy or woman on TV, and we’ve all said, "Thank God that’s not me." The person sweating behind a bank of microphones, trying to explain away something bad. What if one day, maybe through no fault of your own, that person is you? Having to explain why things aren’t quite how they look. How do you know what to do? What to say?

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

  Most businesses grow successful over time as their owners find more efficient ways to make and market specific products. It would seem counter intuitive to open a business based on products that change constantly. And products you can't even imagine, that have to be re-invented up to three and four times a year, based on the season.

That's exactly what the fashion business is. Peter's guests on tis edition of Out to Lunch today have opened fashion houses in New Orleans that make and sell handmade clothes and accessories.

Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

  In New Orleans when we talk about "going to the airport" we automatically assume we’re talking about Louis Armstrong Airport in Kenner. But there's another airport. In Orleans Parish.

Lakefront Airport is over 80 years old. Not all those years have been great for business. For some of them the airport was boarded up. Today, Lakefront might finally be lining up for take off.

  Everybody knows right from wrong. Everybody knows numbers don’t lie. And nobody wants to spend time in prison. Why, then, would a person lie about corporate profits knowing there’s a high probability they’re going to get caught and end up behind bars?

Peter's guest on Out to Lunch wrote the book on business ethics, and it’s not theoretical.

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